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THE DAY’S FINDS
We strapped the Lafumas (outdoor lounge chairs) on the back of the 5th wheel and put our bicycles in the truck bed this morning. It was time to move on. Quartzsite was getting old after three days and we needed new horizons. The Plomosa Mountains to the east looked more enticing than I-10 to the south so east we went. We hadn’t covered more than twenty miles when a particularly inviting stretch of saguaro cacti and red rock hills caught our eye. Now that we know “The Secret of BLM Land,” we said what the heck and pulled off the highway to stake our claim.

After lunch I went prospecting in the nearby hills and quickly weighed down my little daypack with some interesting specimens. One of them looked a lot like petrified wood and another clearly had a high metal content and a smooth outer surface – a meteorite perhaps? Several others had various veins of metals and metal compounds which wasn’t surprising since there are a number of mine excavations around. Some rocks have blues and greens which I think signifies copper and I stumbled into a hillside where veins of pure iron were all about.

As I moved on I saw many more rocks like my “petrified wood” so I regretfully concluded that my specimen is probably nothing more than some kind of sedimentary rock formed by layered clay deposits – petrified rock, if you will. I also came across many more metallic rocks and decided my “meteorite” is probably just a large piece of metal ore that was tumbled smooth by the flowing water of the wash where I found it – a terrestite, if you will.

So while I doubt that I found any museum-grade specimens today, I did have a nice long walk and a lot of fun poking around in the dirt and poking fun at my own naiveté.

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